Bird Bird, Recruits, and Youth

SF Deltas at FC Edmonton

Well, well, well, if last night wasn’t a microcosm of the season so far, I don’t know what is.

It was a great night for me, anyways.

The NAIT summer term over (chinny chin chin hairs intact) a couple of rye and cokes in the belly, a beautiful Edmonton summer’s eve and even the Eddies inability to finish couldn’t derail my evening.

Apparently the Deltas are good – although I can’t help but feel like we’ve handed them some points that they didn’t really deserve. Tonight wasn’t dissimilar to the last meeting between the two.

We’d barely sat down (and hadn’t found the second half of our party) before the Eddies had managed to put an own goal into their own net. I’d double check the highlights to see who it was, but I don’t feel like they deserve the blame. As a defender, you’re going to have a few own goals over your career, even the greats do. No need to point the finger, he was doing his job and shit happens.

That’ll always take the wind out of your sails though, and it was a fairly mediocre opening half from the boys in blue.

Ol’ Natey Bird(Nathan Ingham’s interesting twitter handle) had himself another hell of a game, and don’t look now, but he seems to have emerged as the starter. He made a couple of solid diving saves in the first half, and a pair of ridiculous back to back saves in the second (ending up on NASL’s highlight reel).

If anyone from ESG is reading this, I have a chant I’d like to propose:
“Big Birrrrd, Natteeyy Birrdd, he’s a big old bird natey bird, when he spreads his wings well he soars and swings, he’s a big old bird Natey Birdddd”

I must say, the officiating was a little soft for my taste in this game. I even heard a voice from the flock of children behind us, “Why is the white player down again?” Go to ground, get a call, it seemed. The Deltas aren’t the first team to notice.

We duck out a few minutes before half to beat the beverage lines and rendezvous with the rest of our group (the new recruits) and they’re all over the board in terms of their responses. One seems disinterested (although perhaps I read to much into this one, he’s an acquaintance), one seems on the fence, and one seems like he’s potentially falling in love, but unsure how much he should show it.

The supporters section was rocking, and I was a little sad that my friends preferred to stay in big blue. They’ll convert eventually, I swear.

The second half was quite a bit more entertaining. I’ve given Colin Miller shit recently about my doubts if his teams can play attacking football, but the team did their job as far as the run of play in the second half, and, as he said in the post-game presser, the strikers just needed to find the back of the net. He made some allusions to looking for help up front in the off-season if the guys can bury a few, and whether that transpires or not, I don’t think it was uncalled for.

The Eddies certainly had their chances in the second half, but, again, it just wasn’t in the cards.

But hey, I’m fairly convinced my one friend is the #1 Market Maven (if you haven’t read Gladwell’s tipping point, you really should) for footy in Edmonton, and he seemed to have enjoyed his first game, so every dark cloud does have it’s silver lining. And our second recruit was hassling the deltas for the entire second half, and some of the youth behind him seemed to think it was amusing enough to join in. Glass half full.

There was talk on Loyal Company of the River Valley podcast about when do the front office possibly consider expanding the stadium, and I’d like to offer a word of caution. Always better to have a lineup than to have empty seats. Keep working on indoctrinating the youth(almost feel wrong saying that), and slowly but surely we’ll get to a point where I would be comfortable talking about expansion.

For now though, I wouldn’t mind expanding it slightly if they keep selling out, but I’d much rather them continuously being able to say that we’re selling out (even if that is only a couple thousand seats) than selling a few more tickets and having a half empty stadium.

Editor’s remark: We wish to apologize for an earlier version of this article where the author oddly referred to “hitler youth.” We believe he meant fully (possibly even rabidly) committed youth, and not to imply any sort of Nazi-ism. NSXI does not condone rascist, militarist, or brainwashing behaviour, whether among soccer fans or the general public.

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Guillermo Del Quarto

Guillermo Del Quarto

Guillermo Quarto hails from the wilderness city, Whitehorse, Yukon - In Canada's great white north. He is heavily involved with his hometown club of Whitehorse FC, as well as the world-renowned Yukon Soccer Metro League. He is an amateur artist hoping to leave his mark on the tapestry that is Canadian Soccer. He spends his summers in Edmonton, Alberta with his lovely wife, is an active Voyageur, and FC Edmonton Supporter.

One thought on “Bird Bird, Recruits, and Youth

  • June 26, 2017 at 10:05 am

    A word on stadium expansion; I’ll refrain from coming to conclusions until we’re back to playing Sunday afternoons again in the Fall Season. If we can continue to see strong numbers then, I’ll consider saying that the Eddies have caught on in this city. Until then, I think it still sells as an “event” more than it does a closely followed soccer team.

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